Today I heard stories from two amazing parents. The first story came from our ‘service man’ who was bursting with joy. He has a three year old child born with Cerebral Palsy. That little person learned to manage a wheelchair and get himself to preschool. The constant echo in the conversation was ‘he is so strong’. But that wasn’t the source of this father’s joy.
Two weeks ago, his son spent five hours in surgery to relax the nerve tension so that with lots of physical therapy, the child will walk and run! “Dad I can walk,” his son said after being released from the hospital. The next comment from the dad after sharing this story was “do you want to see a picture?” Of course! The look between father and son was one of total devotion — a love that has neither boundaries nor conditions. The sheer privilege of being invited into such intimacy literally took my breath away.
One hour later, I sat with a mother who shared a story of her five year old daughter with sheer amazement that a child could be so free and so loving and yes, so totally adored. This little girl could do anything, speak in two languages, sing like a bird and laugh like the Buddha or the Dalai Lama. In that mother’s eyes was an awe that made all words superfluous. Like the interaction of the father with his son, it was a moment of intimacy known only to people who know the meaning of love, a contemplative moment as we behold the face of God.
There is a miracle in children. To see a child is to be open to wonder, awe, possibilities and the Infinite capacity we each have to love and be loved. To see a child is to be drawn out of our lives of complexity into theirs of simplicity. No wonder scripture invites us to ‘become like a child’ to enter into the fullness of life.
February is associated with Valentine’s Day – a season of love. My invitation to each of us is to see the child within us and within each other. What a wonderful world this will be.